|| Shijing is the primordial composition, as well as the earliest existing collection of classic Chinese poetry. It documents and supports, with references, ancient ancestral heritage in the livelihood of traditional Chinese society. Agriculture was the primary livelihood in the Zhou Dynasty, which is based on maintaining farmland and producing crops. Chronologically earlier, hunting has a long history and it was one manifestation of primeval daily sustenance in traditional Chinese society. To put it another way, hunting still existed in the Zhou Dynasty era and it did not disappear. Furthermore, hunting came to have profound historical, meaningful and cultural significance.
This thesis comprises six chapters. Chapter One is the introduction. Chapter Two is the literature review of hunting poetry from Shijing, and there are nine hunting poems which are generalized from it. Moreover, these hunting poems are distinguished into two categories. The characterization/depiction of individual hunting movement, as well as the spectacular landscapes hunted in, are discussed and summed up through the essence of poetry from Shijing throughout each dynasty in chronological order.
Chapter Three probes into the hunting poetry of Shijing, which is associated with the Zhou Dynasty era. It critically scrutinizes the interconnection of economy, military affairs, ritual (known as a manifestation of ancestor worship), and the inhabitants’ recreational activities in the Zhou Dynasty society.
In other words, the hunting events demonstrate and reveal crucial elements through the classic Chinese poetry of Shijing during the Zhou Dynasty.
Chapter Four elaborates upon the sources of livelihood by hunting in the Zhou Dynasty era. In accordance with the crucial components of the hunting poetry from Shijing, it is divided into three categories; the techniques of hunting, the hunting equipment usage, and the species of animals, domestic and wild. Efficient ways of hunting utilized four different techniques: traps made of netting, bows and arrows, bare fists, and torching farmland or hunting fields in order to capture animals. The implements for hunting are classified into five different categories; wagons or carriages, bows and arrows, netting, hunting accessories, and disguise. The species of animals hunted are distinguished into domestic and wildlife categories. The domestic animals refer to dogs and horses. The wildlife are categorized into four different species of birds and nine different species of land animals.
Chapter Five analyzes the ideological consciousness in hunting poetry from Shijing, which is presented in one part by masculine aesthetic conception and in another part by the encouraging of military spirit from. To put it in perspective, the admiration of qualities have transformed into masculinity during the chronical of Shijing, which is to couple strength and gentleness individually in manhood. The qualities of manhood are not only to have the build of masculinity but also to possess the elegance of femininity in their characters. People idolized and worshipped their favorite hunters, who were skilled and acquainted with archery, as well as capable of driving wagons or carriages. The perspective of valiance has become a standard and attitude in life. The characteristics of valor and the encouraging of military spirit are well demonstrated throughout the hunting poetry from Shijing in general.
Chapter Six is the conclusion and it summarizes a variety of essential features and aspects which are reflected in hunting poetry from Shijing.